NASA: Ice, mineral-rich soil could support human outpost on Mars Computerworld

The ice and minerals found using a robotic arm in the Martian soil could make it easier for humans to live on the planet in the not-so-distant future.
The ice on the northern pole of Mars has been a particularly important find for NASA scientists because robots and astronauts could extract usable, even drinkable, water from it, helping to sustain an extended stay on the Red Planet, according to Ray Arvidson, a co-investigator for the Mars Lander’s robotic arm team and a professor at Washington University in St. Louis.
“I think the fact that we found water ice means there’s a large reservoir of it,” Arvidson told Computerworld on Friday. “Water is crucial to us as humans, in terms of keeping us going. Water also is a resource that can be processed, in terms of getting oxygen and hydrogen. Finding that water near the surface is important. When you actually go to Mars, you don’t want to take that water with you … the fact that the water is close to the surface is good.”